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Time to ReactThe Efficiency of International Organizations in Crisis Response$
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Heidi Hardt

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199337118

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199337118.001.0001

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Why Speed of Response Matters

Why Speed of Response Matters

Chapter:
(p.30) 2 Why Speed of Response Matters
Source:
Time to React
Author(s):

Heidi Hardt

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199337118.003.0002

This chapter focuses on the impact of efficiency on conflict-affected populations and on the effectiveness of interventions. It details the conditions under which speed of response enhances prospects for sustainable peace, and it places the discussion on speed in an international security context. Organizations have thus far failed in their efforts to develop and employ rapid response mechanisms. Instead, control over speed of response remains in the hands of the member states driving consensus-based decisions to react. The chapter provides a means for measuring the efficiency involved in the planning and operationalizing of these decisions. It then introduces an original database on response rate variation across four international organizations. In an analysis of the response rates data, the chapter elucidates core distinctions between the record of the European Union and the record of the African Union, OAS, and OSCE. From membership size to strength of capabilities, potential reasons for the variation in speed are assessed but fail to explain why the EU would be slower to react to crises. State-based theories of international relations prove equally insufficient in explaining the phenomenon. This suggests the need for an entirely different explanation, which is outlined in the subsequent chapter.

Keywords:   International organization, Efficiency, Crisis response, European Union, African Union, OAS, OSCE, Rapid Response, Response rates

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